I see horses are in the news again. This time they are not being eaten but doped !
Apparently horses from the biggest stable in the UK have tested positive for anabolic steroids at the stables owned by Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. Spot tests were carried out on 45 horses by the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) and 11 tested positive. Horses failing the test included ‘Certify’, ante-post favourite for the 1,000 Guineas, and last years’ Ascot Gold Cup runner-up ‘Opinion Poll’.
Their trainer Mahmood Al Zarooni faces a disciplinary hearing with the possibility of a lengthy ban. He has already admitted to administering the drugs at the Godolphin stables in Newmarket. In mitigation, he has claimed that he was unaware that it was against the rules to use the drugs on the animals when they were not racing.
I am not really a betting man, having had my fingers burned at every foray into the turf accountant. My last venture, three years ago saw me invest £20 on two ‘nags ’running in the Cheltenham Gold Cup on the advice of an ‘expert’ colleague.......money down the drain !!!!!
Many punters, myself included are smiling wryly in the knowledge that the doping affair has caused the bookies to take a hit.
Ladbrokes are going to give back £200,000 worth of bets on horses which have tested positive for steroids. Coral and William Hill will refund bets on 4 animals from the Godolphin stables, namely Certify, Desert Bloom, Artigiano and Restraint of Trade. Paddy Power is in the process of evaluating its position regarding the affected horses and will make a statement in due course.
Kate Miller of William Hill, bookmakers stated that: ''This is an unprecedented eventuality, and no-one betting could have predicted these events. We believe the fairest result for our customers is to refund their bets placed on the Godolphin runners.''
It’s good to see the bookmakers who usually always win anyway, talking about fairness and ‘putting their money where their mouth is’.
The Bible story of Zacchaeus illustrates this principle. Hated by his own people, Zacchaeus worked for the Roman occupiers as a tax collector. Often accompanied by Roman muscle, he collected their taxes plus an additional amount to ‘cover his own expenses’. Reviled by his neighbours as a dishonest, rich Roman collaborator, Zacchaeus was short of friends.
When he came to Jericho, Jesus took an interest in Zacchaeus and his life was radically changed. How do we know ? The Bible tells us that Zacchaeus ‘put his money his money where his mouth is’.
The gospel of Luke describes the incident: “Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord. ‘Look, Lord ! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount”.
There is always radical change when a person encounters Jesus, and that’s visible ‘spiritual fruit’ which lasts forever.